Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Arizona Cardinals Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Offensive Line
- Wide Receiver
- Defensive End
After the Arizona Cardinals first two picks in the draft, I was ecstatic as the team addressed two of their biggest needs with players I have been talking up the entire draft process. Josh Rosen my QB1 not only fell to pick number 10, but the Cardinals traded only a 3rd and 5th round draft pick to move up 5 spots to acquire their future franchise quarterback. It was one of the best moves in the entire draft as Rosen is NFL ready due to his mind for the position and his ability to play the game with the requisite footwork and mechanics from within the pocket. Then there is my WR2 throughout the draft process, Christian Kirk. I love the way Kirk manipulates defenses with his route running to find the sweet spot in zones. He understands how to get open in critical situations and will form a dynamic duo with Rosen for years to come. The rest of the draft for Arizona is a bit puzzling as they drafted a quality depth player for a much needed position group in center/guard Mason Cole but I feel the offensive tackle position was a much bigger need. They also didn’t acquire the much needed corner opposite Patrick Peterson until the 6th round with Chris Campbell who has talent but will not be ready to compete immediately for a starting position.
Although I am a fan of both Rosen and Kirk, my favorite pick for the Cardinals is Rosen. I’m impressed with the little draft capital the Cardinals gave up to move 5 spots from 15 to 10. To put the trade in perspective, the Buffalo Bills traded up the same number of spots (from 12 to 7) to select Josh Allen but gave up two 2nd round picks. QB needy teams were reluctant to select Rosen because of personality concerns but when it is all said and done, I believe Rosen will be the best quarterback in a class that had five 1st round picks and 3 quarterbacks who were selected before him.
Fantasy Football Implications
The player to target in your fantasy draft is Kirk. Currently Kirk is being drafted towards the end of the first round in rookie dynasty drafts as he fell into a great situation in Arizona. He gets the opportunity to learn how to be a pro from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald while getting a chance to grow with fellow rookie Rosen. Kirk will play immediately starting in the slot where he can utilize his route running to be a security blanket. In re-draft leagues look for Kirk to eventually become a reliable WR3 and produce similarly to last year’s slot sensation Cooper Kupp. Rosen’s fantasy prospects will not be high in his rookie year but dynasty league owners should stash him as he has the highest ceiling of all rookie quarterbacks.